McDuffie Fired from JLA

I don’t think he should have gotten fired. What he said really isn’t that bad. He wasn’t putting the company down. He was simply stating how it operates. I don’t like how they operate either but that’s the business and that’s how they run things. So now you know why DC comics is the way it is. Below I have listed McDuffie's reaason why he got fired and after that what he said. Read and judge for yourself.

McDuffie’s Reasons:

"Nope, it was my own doing. I was fired when "Lying in the Gutters" ran a compilation of two years or so of my answers to fans’ questions on the DC Comics discussion boards. I’m told my removal had nothing to with either the quality of my work or the level of sales, rather with my revelation of behind-the-scenes creative discussions.

I have to say I’m a bit disappointed, because next summer was planned to feature a JLA-driven crossover, where my book’s story line would have been the driving force. I’m distressed by where I left Black Canary, as my intention was to use the current subplot to strengthen her character and relationships with the new membership, and instead I’m leaving her at the bottom of a hole I’d intended to rebuild her from. I was also just about to get a regular artist for the first time since I’ve been on the book, which would have been nice. That said, I’m sure DC’s going to put together a creative team that will generate major excitement around JLA, which is as it should be."

McDuffie’s Statements:

Yes, Anansi is supposed to be me, and the story arc is about my not having control of the stories in my book. Ironically, both [the Anansi/Vixen] story and the parallel Red Tornado arc were supposed to be smaller B and C plots in a much larger arc (involving Luthor’s plan from my first arc, Starro, and Despero) that I wasn’t able to do because of other plans in the DCU.

...

(regarding the Injustice League) I’d originally intended for that story to run 8 issues, but it had to be cut short for Suicide Run, so I made up a new secret Luthor plot that tied into the dangling Per Degaton plot from Brad’s run, but it turned out that Geoff already had plans to wrap that up, so I’ve come up with a third Luthor plot, but I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it, as I’m fairly tightly plotted for the next couple of years. I will get to it though, promise.

...

Actually, my intention was to keep Red Tornado in the computer for quite a while (both to keep him off stage for a bit, and to set up another storyline I had notions of exploring), but DC needed him back in his body immediately for a mini-series. So, I planned the Amazo rematch as a B-plot in another story, unfortunately, that story had to be dropped because of something else that was planned in another title. So I pushed up the Vixen arc to take that place, but as I was writing it, I found out certain things about Final Crisis that forced me to cut the Vixen Arc short. Things happen. Whether I find a particular character interesting is entirely, and unsurprisingly, a function of what I find interesting, Some characters work better for me in a solo setting than a team setting, for instance, some characters aren’t as interesting with this line-up than they would be with a slightly different one. That said, my tendency is to work with the characters I’m less interested in (Red Tornado, Hawkgirl, Red Arrow) more, in order to give them some face time. Batman and Superman don’t need a showcase, they’re in 6 other books a month, and I’ve written cool bits for them myself dozens of times, so they’ll step to the background, except for a couple of times a year.

...

I did want to use the quite different version of the CSA I made up for the Justice League Unlimited show, but at the time, I wasn’t allowed to do any alternate Earths.

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I still think the multiverse is off-limits to me, along with time travel and a couple more areas that other DCU titles are focusing on. If that changes, I’ll definitely pitch a road trip through some of the 52.

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DC is giving the fans what they want, and that’s big event books that have affect the entire line, and promotable events in the main solo titles. When that stuff stops selling better than regular comics, DC will stop doing them. Until and unless, JLA’s going to have to adapt to the times. When this version of JLA launched, it was in a continuity bubble that left it free and clear of the continuity in other titles. As soon as it synched back up with the rest of the universe, we had to pay the tab for that freedom.

...

Looking ahead, the line-wide continuity is going to eventually line up for a more traditional JLA, but we’re not there yet. At the moment, none of the big seven are available. Beyond that, The Hawks, Green Arrow, both Atoms, Captain Marvel and almost everyone I think of as either a big gun, or a traditional JLA favorite are likewise not available. So as we wait for things to settle down in the other titles, I’m doing "Cap’s Kooky Quartet." Of course, in this case Captain America isn’t available, either.

...

Final Crisis and other events left me without access to any of the characters that I want on the team. I couldn’t just have everyone disappear mid-arc, so I had it happen on camera. Losing the big guns was a problem for me, so I decided to make it a problem for Black Canary. Fortunately, it also let me pull the trigger on the Hal Jordan League, which I’ve been either writing around, or spinning my wheels to synch up with, since my first issue on the book.

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there are three current members of the League I wish weren’t on it.

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My plan was for Kendra to break up rather painfully with Roy, in time for that to be the reason Roy left the JLA (to go to the other title he was supposed to be going to back when I planned this). Kendra would have stayed with the team, but been without a romantic partner for a while. Most of the League, friends with Roy since he was a teen, would resent Kendra for staying on when she was the one who hurt their friend. She was going to be pretty much a loner except for her relationship with Wonder Woman (which would eventually be good, although Kendra would misread her for a while, causing friction until Diana helped her through some tough times), and Black Lightning, who would treat her like a surrogate daughter (I’d also planned to have her go to Jeff’s for Thanksgiving, and meet the rest of his family). Kendra was going to come out of all this with a new focus, and a slightly adjusted status quo that would keep her front and center in JLA. Roy and Kendra would reconcile in about two years, but never be a couple again, except for one night that they’d both be sorry for, and never mention again.

But continuity changed in other books (i was informed that Kendra would die in Final Crisis), so I had to toss it all. Actually twice, because my back up plan was derailed by Kendra’s recent undeath.
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I’ve had virtually no input into the composition of JLA. It’s DC Comics’ flagship book. They tell me who to put on the team, based on their needs elsewhere in the universe, and I do it. I believe I had influence in getting rid of Red Tornado, but even there I was forced to put him back in his body about two years before I had planned to.
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There are a large number of changes coming up, mostly due to members leaving in the aftermath of Final Crisis. Again, I had little to no influence on how the team is shaking out. Dan and Eddie are allowing me to frequently guest star several characters who by rights should be written out of the book because of what’s going on in their titles. They also acquiesced to my request for a member rejoining the team (as soon as another project is done with him in about eight months). That character will be my first addition to the team, roughly two years after taking over the book.

If it were up to me, JLA would be made up of roughly the six most popular DC characters plus a rotating seventh spot that would be used to balance the personalities, create new story opportunities and/or pump up an interesting, but so far less commercially successful character.
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I was able to eliminate one member by choice (although circumstances seem to have forced him back in), all of the additions were mandated.
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I do get frustrated, but it comes with the job. The nature of monthly comics has changed drastically over the past 20 years. JLA used to be THE place to go to see the big guns together, dealing with the gravest threats in the DCU. Now there are several big event crossovers a year, and those titles are where the huge stories happen. So I have to tell stories that feed into and come out of those events. I’d prefer if, as on Justice League Unlimited, I could tell stories that were at the center of the characters lives, but that was a very different circumstance. JLA the comic is part of a larger patchwork, and my mandate is to support the bigger story of the DCU.

I think we could do a much better job of making the comic feel more self-contained while still serving the needs of the DCU, and I’m working on ways to do that, but the truth of the matter is, every three or four months, I have to sort of drop everything and deal with a crossover or other event. In my next arc of 6 issues, there are three of these events (four if you count the Milestone guest shot). That makes JLA integral to the DCU, but it also makes us lurch around more than a bit.

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